One out of four Nepalis suffers from hypertension, one of the major causes of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), according to a Nepal Development Society research carried out in May 2018.
Cardiologists and doctors, gathered to mark the 20th World Heart Day at Norvic Hospital in the Capital, warned that the situation could escalate if people do not introduce positive interventions in their lifestyle.
Norvic Hospital Senior Consultant Cardiologist Dr Jay Prakash Jaiswal said, “A balanced diet, regular exercise and avoiding consumption of alcohol and tobacco products can minimise the risk of heart diseases to a large extent.”
In 2017, CVDs claimed 51,028 lives in Nepal, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, which also indicated that there are six million tobacco users in the country with increased risks of CVDs along with people exposed to secondhand or passive smoking.
Talking to the Post, Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Bhagawan Koirala said, “Smoking from an early age has increased the risks of CVDs in youth which has resulted in heart-attacks as well. Heart diseases have no relation with age as it can affect individual of any age.
“People belonging to poor families have been found to suffer from CVDs the most and the number is rising among children and youth too. The government should provide treatment to them as children and youth have a lot to contribute to the country in near future.”
Lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol levels and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) are other contributors of CVDs. Its incidence rate is increasing every year in Nepal. Regular health checks are no longer an option to shy away from, including young and old alike.
“I neglected the pain in my chest for more than a week. When it became unbearable, I went for a checkup to
discover that I had 97 percent artery blockage. I was very lucky to get immediate treatment,” said Ratna Man Dangol, a survivor.
Many may not be as lucky as Dangol who took medical advice before the condition deteriorated. In many cases, heart attacks can be fatal. Paying heed to early warning signs and consulting a doctor is vital.
Stressing on early intervention, Senior Consultant Cardiologist and Surgeon Dr Yadav Kumar Deo Bhatta said, “The only way to cure oneself from any disease is to know about it early and to start treatment quickly. It is the same with the heart issues.”